Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pasta with Chicken and Zucchini

Today was one of those days when I had no idea what to do with the two chicken breasts I defrosted for dinner. There is work being done outside our condo so it's a pain to get to the grill right now and it's been so hot that I didn't want to turn on the oven. After a quick peek in my fridge, freezer and pantry I came up with this. It's so simple that I wondered if it was blog worthy. It's basically a chicken and veggie saute served over pasta. Not that impressive but very delicious. If you notice in the photo there are two different types of pasta there. I had a little bit of penne in an open box and a little gemelli in another. So I used the cooking times on the back of the box. I threw the gemelli in first and then a minute or so later added in the penne. It was fine that way and I've done it before. If you just put it in at the same time you may end up with some pasta that's over cooked or some pasta that's not cooked enough. Different shapes have different cooking times.

If you don't like zucchini or artichoke hearts substitute them with something else. Cannelini beans would be great here, chick peas, eggplant too. Use your favorite combo or try something new!

Chicken with Zucchini and Artichoke Hearts


1 pound of short pasta, penne, ziti, rigatoni, etc.
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium zucchini, quaretered lenthwise and then cut into chunks
10 frozen artichoke hearts
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
handful of frozen peas
handful of fresh basil, torn
handful of kalamata olives
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbsp tomato paste
chicken broth
extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper, to taste


Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder, saute in mixture of butter and a little oil until brown. Remove and set aside. Add in a little more oil if your pan is dry and saute onion in olive oil, add zucchini and leave it a lone for a minute until it browns a little, add garlic and let cook for a minute or so and then add artichoke hearts. They won't really brown but will soften. (*See Note) Add tomato paste and stir, let it cook for a minute. Deglaze pan with wine and scrape up any browned bits that stuck to the pan. When liquid reduces add chicken broth a little at a time to get the consistency of sauce you want. Add kalamata olives, salt and pepper and let cook for about 20 minutes. Add cooked chicken and peas to the pan and stir. Chicken is already cooked so just let it simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

While sauce is cooking, boil water for pasta, season well with salt. When sauce is almost ready drop the pasta. When pasta is al dente toss with sauce and serve.

*note - I used some fresh tomatoes but they weren't ripe enough and didn't do anything for the dish so I didn't put it in the recipe. However, if you have beautiful ripe plum tomatoes you could add them here.


Megan said...

I mix my pastas when I have random amounts left in boxes too! This looks like a great pasta -- I love when you can just throw together things you have around and come up with a great meal.

Lynda said...

I love your last minute creative dish. You can't go wrong with chicken and pasta and those yummy veggies! I combine different pastas sometimes and it does work well as long as you watch the cooking times.

Culinary Alchemist said...

A most excellent repast... Any pasta dish with fresh veggies is pretty darn stellar. Delicious!

regina di roma said...

Hi Michele, this dish looks amazing. Happy to have found your blog and will be following from Rome! I must be bored today because I got to thinking about how so much of the culinary focus for Americans is based on Italian food.It made me wonder about the opposite,
what Italians think about American food.

Donna-FFW said...

This dish sounds fantastic. Perfect way to showcase summer veggies. Love the versatility too!

Dionne said...

I love the way you create your pasta dishes with ingredients that real people use. None of this hard-to-find meat or fancy shmnacy vegetables. Your recipes are always so accessible!

Spryte said...

Yum! Looks like a quick easy pantry meal!

Patti T. said...

Even though I have been feeling very ill the last couple of days, this almost made me want to run out in the kitchen and make this. You do some amazing things with what most of us have in our cupboards.

teresa said...

oooh, i bet this is just bursting with flavor, great job!

Rachel said...

What a great improv! You make anything look good!!!

Janie Out of Debt said...

Oh I love pasta this looks great.

Best wishes,


Theresa said...

Very creative, Michele. Well done.

R. Wallis @ TrueBeauty said...

Ok, so I LOVE all of your recipes! The hubs thinks I'm taking a culinary class on the side :) You rock!

Danielle said...

YUM! that looks really good. Love the quick simple "throw togethers". :)

Lola Lakely said...

That looks so good! I am sending my mom your recipe!

Bella said...

Being able to put a nice dish together at the last minute is a sign of a good cook! And anything like this recipe that includes artichoke hearts is blogworthy to me! Good job! ~ roz

Angie said...

That recipe looks great. I think I could adapt it to suit my allergies. Thanks.

Alaskan Dermish in the Kitch said...

You can't beat pasta with lots of good veggies like that. Great job!

girlichef said...

I love making dishes with whatever I have "laying" around. This looks like a delicious and comforting combo. :D

Pam said...

It's cold and raining here today...this would be the perfect dish for dinner.